There is a lot of terminology to know and understand when it comes to the many social media platforms that exist today. Facebook, with its 750 million users, may be the most used platform, but in the minds of many, has the largest lingo learning curve.

One of the most common Facebook terminology questions we receive has to do with personal pages versus fan pages, and when to use each.

Personal Facebook Accounts

The “original” membership option to join and be part of Facebook is with a personal account. Personal accounts allow you to add a profile photo of yourself, extensive biography information, post photos, videos and status updates, “like” fan pages and “friend” other personal accounts. Friend requests are sent and need to be accepted in order for a new Friend to view much of your wall and personal information.

If you want your business, handmade shop or blog to have its own Facebook presence, you need to create a fan page and/or Place page.

Facebook Fan Pages

Facebook fan pages are designed for businesses, groups, blogs and other organizations. Anyone who has a personal account can create a page.

Fan pages only require a “like” for a connection to be made, and fan page owners cannot access the personal account information of those who like their fan page.

Likers of a fan page are considered “fans”.

Fan pages accomodate 3rd party apps so owners can create a custom welcome tab or host a contest or giveaway. Also, you can designate a category for your page.


Facebook Friends vs Fans

There are a couple key differences between Facebook friends and Facebook fans.

  • Friends are connections between 2 personal accounts whereas fans are connections between 1 personal account and 1 fan page.
  • Friends can see each other’s personal information whereas a fan page is not granted that same access.
  • You are limited to 5,000 friends, but can have an unlimited number of fans.

Facebook Places

Facebook Places allows for check-ins at locations via a smart phone. Place check-ins can best be compared to popular apps like FourSquare or GoWalla and allow you to mention other Facebook friends who are checking in with you.

If you are a business owner with a fan page, it is possible that customers have created a Place page for you simply by checking in using the Facebook app on their smart phones.

It is possible to claim an existing Place page for your business. Click the “Is This Your Business?” link in the left sidebar of your Place page and walk through the steps needed.


For more information, check out Facebook’s FAQ about claiming a Place page.

For information about creating a new Place page, Facebook has a specific FAQ for that, too.

Do you have a fan page for your business, shop or blog? Do you check-in with Facebook’s Places?

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